Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cory Got his first Hawaii job!

Its true, people actually want to hire me! I was as shocked as you are right now. haha

In all seriousness, I have been on a non-stop rally to find a job out here. Being a small island that has 60,000 people on it there are not many quality jobs. Everyday has started the same, I wake up, take a shower, eat some papaya or some tropical fruit for breakfast in addition to some delicious cereal. Then after that I am online for about an hour searching out jobs.

I started focusing on craigslist, but there is only one job a day worth applying to on craigslist that pays a livable wage. So I stated searching out some businesses that I would like to work for and just sent thing emails hoping for a response. Well I got one...

I emailed a gymnastics gym, figuring that with my background it was my best bet to find a quick and easy job. I met with Jack Leonard and his wife  at their gym. Some of you may recognize him, or the people he has coached in the past. below is a quick bio from their website:


"He’s a past 9-time National Champion who graduated with a degree in education from Ohio State where he was also a Cheerleader.  He has coached all levels from 3-year old beginners to Olympians, earning two National High School Coach of the Year Awards (once for men; once for women).  He was assistant coach of 3-time Olympian Dominique Dawes.  He also ran a success after-school gymnastics program called Jack Leonard Gymnastics (JLG).  At its peak, JLG taught gymnastics and fitness to over 300 kids a week.  Jack brings his depth of personal gymnastics experience to bear on how he coaches every gymnast to succeed.  To view a longer history/bio about Jack, click here."

He had alot of stories and experiences to share. I went to their gym and had a impromptu interview and afterwords I had a nice conversation with his wife Kay who officially offered me the job. It's only part time, but the pay is good and the job should be fun.

I also had a interview with a lighting company the same day, and it is conveniently 25 yards from the gymnastics gym. Everyone at this company is great and I can see myself working with them long term. The position is "Merchandise Fulfillment Coordinator" . I would be in charge of managing and purchasing inventory, assisting on the sales floor and general admin responsibilities.

Should I get that position I would be able to work there during the day and then after work help out at the gym and get some extra cash.

-Cory

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Classroom

Today we got our "bell schedule" which tells us when lunch, recess, and anything else is.  It was a little different than what you would see at a school in Michigan!  The first 30 minutes of the day is for "Hawaiian Protocol", I'm not sure what this is exactly but I was told I will find out.  The students do not have gym, art, or music class.  Instead they have Hawaiian Culture class twice a week (with another teacher).  The hula is taught in place of any other type of physical education class.  The day ends like it begins, with Hawaiian Protocol.

Cory helped me clean my classroom today, we still have A LOT more to do even though it is a little room.  The previous teacher had two big filing cabinets full of random things that we are going through.  I wish I had some more supplies here to help me organize the room and make it appealing to my students.  I have a lot of really great teaching/planning books but they take up a lot of space in the classroom!  I'm going to try to condense them so I have more room for materials for the students.   A dollar store would be really great right now, I would love some cute containers for crayons, pencils, etc!


-Emilie

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hau`oli la Hanau

Today was a pretty uneventful day.  I had an all-day training on how to use the Smartboard, there are so many cool things that you can do with it!  Tomorrow I hope to get most of the syllabus done, it is definitely not easy to do with three grade levels and five subjects!

We found out something interesting about Kauai today... mail is not delivered to the houses!  EVERYONE has to get a post office box and the mail is delivered there.  It is free if you are living in the same city as the post office is in.  We tried to get ours today but they were all out and we were put on a waiting list.  In the mean time they will hold our mail for us and we just have to go to the post office when it is open and pick it up.  Another strange thing about Kauai is that you cannot set up utility bills over the phone (like DTE) you actually have to go to the office and do it in person.  This is not very convenient.  Cory and I are going to set all of it up tomorrow so we can hopefully move-in by Thursday!


Was anyone wondering what the title of this post means?   Hau`oli la Hanau is how you say Happy Birthday in Hawaiian... Happy Birthday Dad!! I miss you and hope you had a good day today! 


-Emilie

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kula Aupuni Niihau A Kahelelani Aloha

Today was my first day at Kula Aupuni Niihau A Kahelelani Aloha, KANAKA for short.  It was a little overwhelming at first because I'm supposed to make a syllabus.  Which wouldn't be too bad if I was just teaching one grade.  I have to make one for each grade that I teach (2nd, 3rd, and 5th), making sure to use the school curriculum, align it with the standards, and figure out how I can teach three curriculum's at once.  Not to mention I found out that my class combines with the kindergarten and first graders for science and social studies and there is not any resources for those subjects, so the teacher of that classroom and I will work together to figure out how to make that work. 

As I was going through the stuff in my classroom I found a section of Bible study documents all written in Hawaiian.  One of the other teachers told me that up until a couple years ago they had bible study as part of the school day, even though it is not considered to be any type of religious school.  It was a way of incorporating Hawaiian culture and traditions into the school day.

Another interesting thing I learned was that they begin and end each staff meeting with a long prayer spoken in Hawaiian.

On another note, we are hopefully moving in to our new "cottage" tomorrow!

-Emilie

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Camping in Hanalei Kauai

The last few days have been crazy. We have meet a really fun couple out here on accident about two days ago. We were walking around Koloa and walked past a  Koloa real-estate company's office and we decided to stop by to see if they had any properties for rent. Unfortunately they did not. However we got to talking with Branden, the guy who was working in the office and we told him that we have just moved out here a few days ago. He said that him and his wife had moved to Kauai at about the same age as us. His wife was actually born in Hawaii and then moved out to California. She then met Branden and they decided to move out here and make it a permanent stay... Anyways, at the end of our conversation I told him we should all get together and surf some time. We exchanged contact info and went on our way.

Later that night, we got a call from Branden and he said they they are going camping tomorrow morning on the north shore to do some surfing. Emilie and I happened to had brought our tent, so we figured why not. 

It was about a hour drive to the north shore, maybe a little more from where we live, but well worth the trip. We set up our tents... on the beach!! and took out the surf boards.

I did not get a picture but Emilie rode a wave probably 100 yards... and yes she was standing up! Later that day Branden and I went out and hit some bigger waves.. Although the bigger waves were still not very big. This particular spot is where many surf competitions are held later in the year, but right not the surf is low, which was perfect for the kids, and for Emilie and I as we learned how to surf.



After a delicious BBQ dinner, we headed down the street to a park where they showed the movie "Soul Surfer"...... It is about a girl who lost her arm in a shark attack while she was training for her next surf competition. It was a outdoor movie and unfortunately it was rained out.  But not before we met Bethany Hamilton, the girl the movie was about!
This is us with Bethany Hamilton.


The next morning Emilie and I were up by 6am. We dropped our tent and took a nice walk along the shoreline. We saw countless rainbows coming from the mountains! We walked the pier and looked at some small fish, who were not at all interested in the pop-tarts I tried to feed them. 



On our walk back, everyone else had woke up, so we had breakfast.

After breakfast, Branden went and got a kayak and another paddle board so we could go up a river that flowed into the ocean only a few yards from our camp site.. it was a great trip! There were hundreds of flowers floating in the water, we found a particular flower that you can use as a natural shampoo, and of course the view was stunning...


After our two hour long trip on the river, we packed our cars, had lunch and decided that we would check out some caves that were only about 15 minutes further north. 

After we were done exploring the caves it was about 4pm and we decided to call it quits. we made the long trip home and were in and out of consciousness for the whole ride until we saw a familiar building that we have not seen in at least a week....... 
TACO BELL!


-Cory


Friday, July 22, 2011

Botanical Gardens, Spouting Horn, Poipu, Beach and Hanapepe

We finally had a chance to do some exploring today!  We started the morning by going to the Allerton Botanical Gardens, which is in the city of Koloa.  When we arrived we found out that you had to pay to go see most of the gardens, but there was a smaller garden that anyone could see for free.  Then we were told residents of Hawaii can see the gardens for free on Sunday's!  So we decided we would wait until we get our new ID's instead of spending the money.  We did spend some time looking around at the smaller (free) garden, it was beautiful!



Next, we went to Spouting Horn which is a blow hole that sprays water up to 50 feet in the air.  According to ancient Hawaiian legend a giant lizard guarded the area and became stuck under the rocks and that is why you hear strange sounds when the water is rushing underneath.


After seeing Spouting Horn we went to Poipu Beach and went swimming.  The water was crystal clear!  Pictures would speak louder than words, so I will post some soon!

This evening, one of the students who will be in my class came over.  He had extremely good manners and was very helpful (he helped get the table ready for dinner).  After dinner he cleared everyone's plate without being asked!  He called Cory "uncle" and he called me "auntie".  He asked me if I spoke "Michigan" or not, so I explained that in Michigan we don't have our own language like Hawaii does.

For dinner we had a traditional Hawaiian meal of poi, and chicken wrapped in taro leaves.  Poi is a plant that is cooked and ground into kind of a paste, it is eaten with almost every meal.  Taro is the leaves that are also a part of the poi plant, they are kind of like spinach.  The students had prepared the poi and picked the taro leaves on a camping trip they went on as a school that they returned from today.

After dinner we went to the town of Hanapepe where there a a dozen art galleries and a few small souvenir and jewelry shops.  Every Friday night everything opens up for a kind of festival.  We enjoyed walking around and looking at the artwork.  We also each got a slice of delicious homemade pie, mango and blueberry pina colado. 

Now it's time for bed because tomorrow we are going to have a busy day!

-Emilie

Cory made it!

Well I finally made it to Hawaii. When we got there we got some pizza and then went straight the the beach in Waimea Kauai. The water is amazing there, much more blue then some other spots due to the high tide. After snapping some pictures (in the picture tab) we went to Hedy's house to un-pack. after relaxing for a bit Emilie wanted to show me a few places we could stay. The one we both liked is located in Waimea. It is a one bedroom apartment built behind a house. They have a pond with HUGE coy fish.. 2 feet long easy. The neighborhood is definitely different then in Michigan but we are excited to get moved in. We will still be keeping an eye out for other places to live as well since this is a month to month lease.

When we got home we decided to take a quick nap and then get up and do some exploring. It was 4pm Hawaii time which made it 10 pm eastern time..... So our nap turned into us sleeping 12hours as we woke up at 4am. So we are going to get some breakfast and then start our exploration!

-Cory

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Almost there!

Well this trip has been interesting to say the least. I am currently in San jose California and guess what! They have free Internet, it's about time an airport wised up. In dtw there was no Internet access. Anyways my first flight from Detroit to Denver was uneventful. I sat next to an old man who smelled like raisins for 2 hours. I mostly tried to sleep, but it was hard being that I was sitting in the back and my seat did not recline. But we got there and the plane was intact. The flight to Denver to San Jose Cali. Was much more fun. I met a couple who were going there for business. We talked a lot and he gave me some Monet saving tips in regards to website development. I thought this was as good of a time as any to pull out my bag of travel size shots of whisky and offer some to the couple. From that point on, we became best friends. Haha. - when flying you are actually aloud to bring your own alcohol on the plane if it meets their fluid requirements, which the mini shooters you can get at party stores are perfect for.

Now upon landing is when the trip started to go downhill. I got off the plane expecting to find the next gate and pass out for 8 hours while I wait for the final plane to come in the morning. However, I was unaware that the airport actually kicks everyone out of the air port after the last fight... Which was mine. So I had no idea what to do with my self, do I call a cab? Where is my baggage? Do I have to pick it up since I am switching airlines? So the TSA officers were nothing but rude and unhelpful so I went to the baggage claim floor where the TSA was forcing everyone to go and found a nice lady there who informed me that my bags are in storage until the next flight in the morning and there is no reason to worry. I asked if I would be able to sleep in this area of the airport b.c I was kicked out of the secured portion. Thankfully she said yes. So I did my best to sleep until 4am, the time you can start checking in again. Now I am just sitting at gate 27 across from a ruby Tuesday's....starving, they need to open up already!

Time to play some angry birds,


Cory

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hawaiian Funeral

The day is only half-way over here and it has been quite an interesting day.  I got to see the school I will be working in.  The hallways are outside of the building and there is a nice courtyard area in the center.  The students eat lunch outside on picnic tables.  They do not have a "physical education" class, instead they have "hula class".

Next I was supposed to drop Hedy off at a funeral, but when we got there she asked me to come in so I could meet some of the students (most of the students at the school came to the funeral).  The funeral was for an elderly man, I learned that in the Hawaiian culture elderly people are very much respected and valued in the community.  Everyone calls them either "Mama" or "Papa"   The people were dressed in white or other bright colors.  A lady did the hula and there was a lot of singing and ukelele music. They also said quite a few prayers in Hawaiian.  When I met the students they greeted me by kissing me on the cheek (that is how they greet everyone).  At the end of the funeral everyone got in a line and viewed the body and kissed him before leaving.

I've already looked at three possible places to live.  One of them seems like it could be good but I still have one more place to look at tonight!

Cory arrives tomorrow morning!  I can't wait :)

-Emilie

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Emilie's First Night in Hawaii

I arrived in Kauai tonight! Moving to Kauai has been a long process but I made it!  The principal's husband and one of the student's from the school picked me up from the airport.  They met me at the baggage claim with a flower lei. The principal rented a car for me to use for the next month, that will be extremely helpful for us as we figure things out here!  I'm very thankful they did that for me.  On the way to Kekaha they pointed out some of the different places to go.  There is a Wal-Mart, Home-Depot, Macys, Costco, McDonalds, and Subway.  Other than that, it seems that there is mostly small local businesses (those places are on the way to Kekaha, not in it).  The beach is less than a mile from the school I will be working at.  It is a beautiful beach, but probably not a good one for swimming because there is not much  of a sandy area and the waves are big.  I guess there is a better beach for swimming close by though.  I found out I will have 8 kids in my class, three 5th graders and the other five are in 2nd or 3rd grade.  They all speak Hawaiian as their first language.  I was told they will call me "kumu" or "auntie" instead of "Mrs. Beadle" like I would be called in a traditional school.  Kumu means teacher.

-Emilie

Emilie is on her way, mean while I am stuck in michigan, still working....

It’s been a crazy few days. Saying bye to friends and family, cleaning our apartment, and packing. But that’s finally all behind us now as Emilie is currently on her way to her first layover in Las Vegas. Meanwhile I am stuck in Michigan for 1.5 more days. Moving to Kauai has been hard, but it will be well worth it!

We have not found a place to live yet. Unfortunately the great apartment we were so excited to see was rented out to someone else. We are still optimistic; Emilie and the Principle at the school she will be teaching at will be going apartment shopping over the next few days.

We have packed our entire life in 3 suit cases and 2 carry-ons. The Space-saver bags we got are incredible. Those are the ones you hook your vacuum up to and suck all the air out.  We filled a suitcase with; 2 pillows, 2 sheets, a comforter, 2 beach towels, 2 regular towels, and had room to spare. Awesome.

I am very proud of Emilie, traveling halfway around the world by herself. It was unfortunate that I had to stay behind, but it was important that I gave as close to a two weeks’ notice as I could for my job. I feel this will actually work out good for us though. This will give Emilie and her principle (I think her name is Heidi) time to get to know each other and also have one less person in her home while they find a place for us to live.

I am excited to get to the Island! Next few days will be very exciting and we will keep you all posted!


-Cory

Friday, July 15, 2011

Getting ready to go!

We have made of progress getting ready for the move to Kauai. Packing up our apartment is a huge process.  The kitchen is cleaned and not allowed to be used again!  Looks like we will be having sandwiches until we leave.  We have started packing our clothes... it is not easy because both of us have A LOT!  At least we know that all of the warm sweaters and coats can go into storage for the time being :)  The principal of the school I will be working at said that I can dress very casually for work (like in jeans)... but I don't want to look like one of the students!  It is a k-12 school, so there will be high school students in the building.

The next big question after all the packing is said and done is, where are we going to live now?  I posted an ad on Craigslist under "housing wanted" and actually got responses!  Looks like we will probably be living in the city Waimea.  There is a couple who rents out the first floor of their house.  The husband is also a teacher and is from Livonia, MI!  That is where Cory is from, what a small world!  We will be paying the exact same amount that we pay here in Ann Arbor, not bad considering we will now be within walking distance from the Pacific Ocean!  It's only a 5 minute bus ride away from my school too!  I hope nobody gets to this place before we fly in!

-Emilie

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Playing Catch-up

We have to play catch-up seeing that we just decided to start a blog of this experience, so here is the rundown of the past week…

Friday July 8th-
It is the day before our wedding and we received word that Emilie was offered a job on Kauai island in Hawaii. We need to give them our answer by Monday, only giving us three days!

Saturday July 9th-
Wedding day!




Sunday July 10th-
We discussed Hawaii and decided to make the plunge into the Pacific Ocean

Monday July 11th-
We put up our apartment on craigslist for sublease. We had TONS of interested people. We never thought that it would be so easy, but it seems like everything is falling into place. Now we have the difficult decision on who will take our apartment. There are many great prospects, but we need to narrow it down soon.

Tuesday July 12th -
The Moving out Begins, we have been packing box after box of stuff. Its partially nice to de-clutter our life with junk we never even use, and it couldn’t be at a better time of our life. We will be starting fresh, with literally no baggage!

Wednesday July 13th-
SUBLEASER FOUND, the biggest stressor so far has been lifted off our shoulders. We found a wonderful girl named Amanda who is willing to take our apartment for the full 7 months we have left on our lease. We could not ask for a better situation.

Thursday July 14th-
We are about done with packing at this point, we went to Livonia for Corys last softball game and to drop off more stuff at my storage unit, AKA Corys old room at his parents!
We have not really decided how often we should write in the blog, The idea of every day is nice because it will keep us on a schedule and we can rotate so its really only every other day. The issue with that is the content might get a little stale, and we may get burned out. I guess we will see!







Intro

It is important to understand how the idea of moving to Kauai all began.

Emilie and I (Cory) decided to take a trip to Oahu HI almost a year ago. What started as a joke, or a fun topic to talk about quickly turned into reality as we purchased our round trip plane tickets to get us half way around the world. As we started discussing the idea of visiting the islands, we came to realize that people do actually live there! So, we did some researched and decided that our visit to Hawaii would also serve as an opportunity for Emilie to interview for teaching positions out there. She had a wonderful interview, which we found out was a screening interview for all the public schools on all the islands.

After the interview we were able to stay with a friend of ours, Jason Foco for a week before returning to the mainland. This saved us money, and gave us the opportunity to see Hawaii in a whole new perspective. We saw waterfalls, huge cliffs, went para-sailing, snorkeling, you name it we did it.

This blog however is not about that trip, this is just to give you some insight on how we got into the situation we are in today……Frantically trying to sublet our apartment, store or return our wedding gifts, quit our current jobs, working on finding a place to live in Hawaii,  a car to drive, and a job for me!

Lets fast forward a bit to when the excitement begins...